States Don’t Have to Comply: The Anti-Comandeering Doctrine

from Tenth Amendment Center:

Most Americans believe that the federal government stands absolutely supreme.

Nobody can question its dictates.

Nobody can refuse its edicts.

Nobody can resist its commands.

This is simply not true.

Laws passed in pursuance of the Constitution do stand as the supreme law of the land. But that doesn’t in any way imply the federal government lords over everything and everybody in America.

First off, as James Madison asserted in Federalist 45, the powers of the federal government are “few and defined.” So federal power actually extends into only a few spheres. Most power and authority was left to the sates and the people.

Second, even within those areas that the federal government does exercise authority, it cannot force state or local governments to cooperate in enforcement or implementation. The feds must exercise their authority on their own, unless the state and local governments choose to assist.

Simply put, the federal government cannot force state or local governments to act against their will.

This is known as the anti-commandeering doctrine, and it is well established in constitutional jurisprudence. Four Supreme Court opinions dating back to 1842 serve as the foundation for this legal doctrine.

In Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842), Justice Joseph Story held that the federal government could not force states to implement or carry out the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793. He said that it was a federal law, and the federal government ultimately had to enforce it.

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Categories: Big Brother, Collectivism - For the Greater Good, of course, Dumbing us Down

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3 replies

  1. Reblogged this on Dead Citizen's Rights Society.


  2. He is pushing very hard for a Civil War…..Union vs. States…AGAIN.


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